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Activision Blizzard (ATVI) update #17—Finally! China approves “Wrath of the Lich King”

Posted by intelledgement on Wed, 11 Aug 10

Citing a Wall Street Journal story, the leading World of Warcraft (WoW) fansite, WoW Insider, reported yesterday that the “Wrath of the Lich King” expansion module will finally be made available in China by Activision’s (ATVI) licensee, NetEase (NTES) next week. Wrath of the Lich King is the second expansion module to be released for WoW following “The Burning Crusade,” and sold an all-time computer game record 2.7 million copies within the first 24 hours of its release in November 2008 in the USA and Europe. Worldwide, there are in excess of 11 million active WoW players.

The process of gaining approval in China has been arduous and protracted, replete with dueling bureaucracies and—in the midst of everything else—Activision firing their original Chinese WoW licensee and switching to NetEase. Many mainland Chinese players had reportedly been logging on to Taiwan-based servers, where the Wrath of the Lich King has been installed for over a year. No word on whether NetEase will make it possible to port characters developed on Taiwanese WoW servers back to the mainland (otherwise, mainland players who want to switch back to NetEase servers—which would presumably be cheaper and less likely to suffer network issues—would have to start over with new characters).

No official announcement yet from Activision, but if confirmed, this news appears to obviate the embarrassing prospect of the third WoW expansion module—Cataclysm, currently in beta testing—being released in the West before Wrath of the Lich King was available in China.

Previous ATVI-related posts:

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